State programs Workers' compensation

Maine DOL to employers: Falls and chemical-related illnesses can be costly

Maine Department of Labor

Augusta, ME – Occupational injuries from falls and illnesses due to chemical hazards can cost thousands of dollars in workers’ compensation, according to two reports released Feb. 25 by the Maine Department of Labor’s Research and Statistics Unit.

The average awarded workers’ compensation claim per workplace chemical incident in Maine in 2012 and 2013 was $14,469. Respiratory issues or ailments accounted for one-third of the 406 incidents in that two-year period.

Thirty-four Maine roofing and exterior construction workers were injured from falls in 2011-2013, accounting for more than $1 million in medical, rehabilitation, time-away-from-work and settlement claim costs. Injury claims stemming from these types of falls cost $30,931 on average during those three years.

“Chemical exposures and falls are two types of injuries that can cause life-threatening injuries and have long-term effects on an individual and his or her family’s quality of life,” Gov. Paul R. LePage (R) said in a press release. “Knowing the scope and costs associated with workplace injuries helps us focus our efforts on preventing the injury in the first place.”

Maine provides employers with free training on OSHA requirements and best practices through the state’s SafetyWorks! program.